Review: Speaking in Code DVD

STUDIO: Microcinema | DIRECTOR: Amy Grill
RELEASE DATE: 7/27/10 | PRICE: DVD $19.95
BONUSES: Modeselektor bonus live performance, deleted scenes, extended interview segments
SPECS: NR | 98 min. | Documentary | 1.33:1 fullscreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Despite its independent film limitations, Speaking in Code is an entertaining look at those involved in the world of electronic music — from the musicians and the record labels to the ultimate fans. First-time director Amy Grill turns the camera on some of her favorite artists, including such acts from Germany as Modeselektor, Wighnomy Brothers and Monolake. The more personal note comes from her husband, David Day, who was originally supposed to share a behind-the-camera role but became a large part of the overall film.

Day is a writer, promoter and DJ who tries relentlessly to make electronic music as big in the U.S. as it is in Europe, particularly Germany. His life is consumed by this goal — and the music — and everything else falls to the wayside.

Meanwhile, Amy travels to Germany, Spain and all around Europe to interview some well-respected electronic artists, all of whom are quite open to talking on camera about their work and why they love electronic music.

Speaking in Code contrasts two burgeoning acts, Modeselektor and Wighnomy Brothers, and how differently they deal with their growing popularity. The former is shown preparing for a performance at the Sonar festival in Barcelona, attended by 20,000 people. In contrast, one of the Wighnomy Brothers, Gabor, feels burnt out and cancels appearances. Both scenarios depict an honest look at the stresses and successes of being an artist.

In the end, the most relatable story line revolves around Amy and David, electronic music fans who try to spread the music to the masses. And their passion translates quite audibly.

If you can’t enough, the DVD includes more performances and interviews.


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About Cheryl

Cheryl Cheng reviewed DVD and Blu-ray titles for Video Business magazine and has a special place in her heart for foreign and independent films.